|The town of Gratteri
Tourism in Gratteri
Mounts of Madonie, which continue from an orographic point of view with mounts Nebrodi, represent, after mount Etna, the second oldest geologic group of Sicily which extend for about 30 km. from west to east. Its geographic frontiers are on the north Tyrrhenian sea, on the east valley of river Pollina, on the west valley of river Imera and on the south Caltanissetta province.
It has been used as naturalistic park and it covers 39.676 hectares and includes also following municipalities: Caltavuturo, Castelbuono, Castellana Sicula, Cefalù Collesano, Geraci Siculo, Gratteri, Isnello, Petralia Soprana, Petralia Sottana, Polizzi Generosa, Pollina, San Mauro Castelverde, Scillato and Sclafani Bagni.
The massif has two main sides, northern and southern side, which offer different peculiarities and shapes. The northern side, rich of treelike vegetation, has steep faces with a calcareous composition and deep valleys subject to phenomena of erosion which end in the Tyrrhenian sea. The southern side is flatter than the other side and lowers lightly till to reach territory of Caltanissetta.
Among its highest rilief there are Pizzo Carbonara (1.979 m.), Pizzo Antenna or della Pricipessa (1.977 m.), mount San Salvatore (1.912 m.), mount Mùfara (1.865 m.), mount dei Cervi (1.794 m.) and Pizzo Dìpilo (1.385 m.).
Its floralistic landscape is very varied and complex because of mixture of different climatic and environmental conditions which are present in the place. Vegetation present in woody areas counts several species of the so-called "macchia Mediterranea" (Mediterranean maquis), among them we mention cork-oak, ilex, oak and beech. Of notable botanical importance is fir of Madonie.
Important is also the variety of flowering mediterranean plants among which some species are particular important from a botanic point of view, such as white senecion, violet of Madonie, astragalus of Madonie, broom of Cupane, flax of Sicilian fairy and several and splendid specimen of orchids.
Park houses a great number of predatories among which we mention royal eagle, eagle of Bonelli, coral grackle, redstart. It is possible to find also different specimen of marten, wild cat and fox and numerous species of butterflies.
The most beautiful moment in the year to visit the park is spring, from March to April, nwhen there is flowering of plants. From highest areas we can enjoy suggestive panoramas which rove from mountains to sea.